Noboru Tomonari

13 May 2020

Dear Mark,

I met you for the first time in winter/spring of 2001 when you picked me up at the airport for a campus interview. You then treated me to lunch at Hogan Brothers. Throughout the last 19 years you have always been a great mentor and colleague for myself and in our department.

I also have fond memories of us as fellow athletes the last 19 years. When I arrived in 2001, Teri was still working at the Language Center and she was a competitive triathlete. You were also swimming and biking with her. I also started triathlons through Andy Clark’s triathlon event in my second or third year. I initially took part as a member of a team with you; I think I did the run part and you swam. When we both switched to doing all three legs (full triathlon) and competed for the first time, I was faster than you in swimming, but you overtook me in the bike leg. We passed by each other during the run leg in the arboretum; you remarked that you were tired but you were already about to leave the woods and reach the goal.

I bought a better bike afterwards and won the second time competing with you. We both stopped participating in Andy’s event later, but I enjoyed regularly bumping into you at the city swimming pool in summer, and college swimming pools in the other three seasons. When you were still competing in the Masters Swimming, you looked very fit. You looked to me Poseidon incarnate!

You will be leaving us now and I, again, feel like during our very first competition, when you have comfortably overtaken me, and are running much further ahead. Please stay well and wait for me at our next finish line (I hope it includes the Big Island)!